Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone Counties
- MetalQuest Unlimited, a precision machine manufacturer based in Nebraska, has chosen Post Falls for its new manufacturing facility. The company, which specializes in precision production for clients in oil, agriculture and firearms manufacturing, expects to begin production at its new Post Falls facility by the end of January, with roughly 25 employees at first. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- Health care providers in Kootenai County have received the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine and have begun vaccinating frontline medical staff. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- The JC Penny in the Silver Lake Mall is now slated to close in the spring after being included in the company’s recent list of planned store closures. The store had been an anchor tenant of the Silver Lake Mall and was the last remaining JC Penny in North Idaho following the previous closures of stores in Lewiston and Ponderay. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- The Post Falls City Council approved the purchase of a $415,000 parcel of riverfront property, which was the final privately held plot in the Post Falls Water Treatment Facility’s easement to the Spokane River. The parcel is expected to be acquired in anticipation of a future expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment capacity. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- Boho West
- Daybreak Coffee
- Sushi I
- CK Barrel Room
- Inland Northwest Veterinary Dentistry & Oral Surgery
- American Kickboxing Academy.
- MiQuelle’s Natural Bath.
- Mode Salon.
- Family Dollar.
- Jitterz Espresso.
- Hardwick & Sons Hardware.
Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451
NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce Counties
- Using CARES Act funding, Clearwater Valley Hospital is renovating a section of the hospital originally constructed in 1956. Renovations, which must be completed by the end of June, will allow the hospital to expand its ability to serve patients needing to be isolated and improve patient rooms and some lab areas. Source: Clearwater Tribune
Idaho and Lewis Counties
- St. Mary’s Hospital and Clearwater Valley Hospital are using a $248,000 CARES Act grant to increase its laboratory testing capacity in Cottonwood and Orofino. This includes purchase of Cepheid Gene Xpert equipment that can test for COVID-19, Influenza A & B and RSV with one swab. Source: Cottonwood Chronicle
- The Riggins Library received a grant for library internet and hot spot equipment from the Idaho Commission for Libraries in November. That will allow library users better internet access. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- The city of Grangeville plans to operate Snowhaven Ski and Tubing Hill during the 2020-21 season if enough snow falls and if the city can find a reliable labor force. In an average winter, Snowhaven hires 25 part-time employees. COVID-19 concerns will cause the ski area to limit capacity this year. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- A private school in Grangeville has grown every year since it opened in 2015 inside the Church of the Nazarene. Cornerstone Christian Learning Center started as a preschool and kindergarten. Now, the school offers education for 31 students in preschool through grade five. Eventually, it hopes to build a separate school building with a gymnasium, classroom and kitchen. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories plans to break ground on a manufacturing facility near U.S. Highway 95 in southeast Moscow this spring. The 140,000-square-foot plant will print circuit boards. The Pullman-based company — it designs and builds digital products to protect power grids — plans to complete construction by mid-2022. The company employs 2,500 in Pullman and 610 in Lewiston, and it is running out of room to build at its Pullman campus. The new facility will allow the company to move circuit board manufacturing in-house. Currently, SEL engineers and specialists design the printed circuit boards used in the company’s products, but they are fabricated by several U.S. suppliers. The Moscow plant, scheduled to open in mid-2022, will expand opportunities for good-paying jobs in Latah County, which has relatively few manufacturing jobs. SEL is a 100% employee-owned company. Source: Moscow-Pullman News; Spokesman-Review
- An Idaho Women’s Business Center opened in early December inside the Moscow Chamber of Commerce on Main Street. The new office will provide funding, mentoring and networking services to help women-owned businesses flourish. One of its missions is to assist underserved, minority and rural area female entrepreneurs. University of Idaho President Scott Green said the office will not only promote the local economy, but will be helpful to UI students, faculty and women entrepreneurs across northern Idaho. Idaho Women’s Business Center offices also has locations in Nampa, Boise, Twin Falls, Burley and Idaho Falls. Source: Lewiston Tribune
Nez Perce County
- Vista Outdoor added about 250 jobs in Lewiston this year, as consumer demand for ammunition soared and as the company expanded production of cartridges for law enforcement and the military. The company employs slightly more than 1,200 at its Lewiston ammunition manufacturing operations. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- The pandemic has taken a toll on businesses that rely on advertising revenue. To cut costs to match revenue declines, the Lewiston Tribune and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News will no longer publish Monday print editions starting Jan. 11. TPC Holdings, the parent company for the Tribune and Daily News, also has reduced the size of its workforce by approximately 10 full-time equivalent employees. The closure of national chain outlets including Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Kmart and Shopko also have depressed the newspapers’ revenues. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- Lewis-Clark State College received approval from the Idaho State Board of Education in December to offer its first graduate program. The fully online, 13-credit graduate certificate for nursing management and leadership is set to begin in the fall of 2021. No other school in Idaho offers the graduate program. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- The Locker Room, a men’s salon that includes beverages and video games, opened on Troy Road in Moscow in November. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984
SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington Counties
- USA Today readers recently rated Brundage Mountain Idaho Ski Resort the second best among ski resorts throughout North America. Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta, Canada, won top honors. Brundage is much smaller than many of the better-known contenders. The USA Today website said, “This independently-owned resort in Central Idaho gets more than 320 inches of snow at its base each year. That means skiers and snowboarders enjoy powdery glades and wide groomed runs along 46 named trails, as well as 18,000 acres of backcountry terrain. The resort’s progressive terrain parks help riders hone their skills and try new stunts.” Source: KTVB
- Saint Alphonsus Hospital has been awarded the Level 1 Stroke Designation. The hospital staffs a team of specialists and offers Idaho’s only tele-stroke network for rural areas without access to skilled health care. Source: Idaho Business Review
- St. Luke’s Hospital held a drive-thru job fair hoping to fill numerous jobs. Some openings are front-line service jobs, and all are critical to keep the hospital running during the COVID-19 pandemic including hospitality and food services, cashiers and housekeeping. Source: Idaho News 6
- The Idaho Public Charter Commission approved a transition of the Booth Marian Pritchett School to the newly coined Cardinal Academy as a charter school. The Booth Marian Pritchett School was a public entity collaboration between the Boise School District and the Salvation Army Boise Corps. It was serving students dealing with pregnancy and teen parenting challenges. The school moved to a new location and experienced declining enrollment. The Boise School District believed integrating the school with the existing Frank Church Alternative High School, with its broader offerings of career-technical programs and electives, would benefit the students. The school district intended to establish a daycare at the alternative high school. The Cardinal Academy will be located at the Salvation Army’s West Boise Campus with classroom space for 60-140 teens. Both teen mothers and fathers along with soon-to-be parents will be accepted for the year-round school schedule. Medical care and mental health services will be available onsite in addition to daycare, parenting classes and a food pantry. Source: IdahoEdNews.org
- The Boise City Council approved an agreement between The Boyer Company of Utah and Amazon to build and operate a sorting facility for Amazon. The land is owned by the city while Boyer will manage and lease the land. The Boyer Company also manages the Burley Industrial Park in Heyburn, which was donated to the city of Burley by the J.R. Simplot Company when it closed its potato processing plant. Source: Idaho Statesman and regional economist
- The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was vandalized with threatening symbols and messages. Chobani and Micron each donated $20,000 to clean up the vandalism and enhance the security system. Micron donated another $20,000 to the Jewish Assistance League. Several large companies voiced concern that it becomes more difficult to recruit talent when Idaho is portrayed as not being inclusive. Source: Idaho Press
- The Boise Hawks lost its minor league affiliation after 30 years when Major League Baseball (MLB) cut 25% of its affiliates. A new stadium was often a topic of discourse among the community and was cited as a potential reason why MLB dropped the Hawks. Its most recent major league club was the Colorado Rockies but in previous years the Hawks were linked to the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels. The Hawks will continue as an independent team and participate in the Pioneer League along with other teams in the West, so far including Idaho Falls Chukars, Ogden Raptors, Billings Mustangs, Missoula PaddleHeads, Great Falls Voyagers, Rocky Mountain Vibes (Colorado Springs), Grand Junction Rockies and Northern Colorado Owlz (Windsor). Source: Idaho Statesman
- Kuna City Council approved an urban renewal district that could potentially add $383 million to the city’s property tax base or total assessed value upon buildout. Economist Alivia Metts, who presented prior to the vote, said the district would collect taxes on anything above the $111.6 million assessed value of the area. These funds will be used to improve the area including water and sewer line extensions, well water improvements and streetscape enhancements. Investments in infrastructure makes the community more attractive for business relocations considering it is heavy on residential and light on industrial and business investment needed to support its population growth. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $50,000 from its Innovative Clusters program to Trailhead Boise to create a CleanTech Incubator. The funding allows Trailhead to support innovators of energy-related technologies. Trailhead intends to apply for a second round of Innovative Clusters funding. Source: Idaho Business Review
- Boise State University announced the launch of its Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity (IPC). There are three pillars of the institute, according to Director Edward Vasko ‒ workforce development, advancing research and strengthening industry knowledge. Boise State recently received $500,000 from Idaho’s Secretary of State to create the Idaho Election Cybersecurity Center. The IPC will bring the academic programs and research under one umbrella. It also has the support of the Idaho Tech Council, which has been working with the new director on initiatives. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The U.S. Federal Housing and Finance Agency announced Boise led the nation in year-over-year home appreciation at 16.4%. The state of Idaho also outpaced other states, growing its home appreciation by 14.4%. The U.S. as a whole rose by 7.8% over the year. Source: Idaho Business Review
- Nampa’s The House Next Door continues to address the needs of single mothers pursuing educational degrees. The nonprofit started in 2015 and can usually take on four families in the large home located next to its sponsoring church, Grace Episcopal Church. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the distancing requirement reduced the number of families to three, so each family has their own floor. The mother lives rent free and has access to a kitchen, dining room, playroom, study room, laundry and a playground in the backyard. The organization typically receives four to eight applications annually. The mothers are pursuing degrees ranging from GEDs to master’s degrees, along with life skill classes offered onsite to help with budgeting, applying for financial aid, enrolling their children in Head Start programs or the learning the legalities of securing child support. It currently is hoping for support from “Avenues for Hope,” an annual housing nonprofit fundraiser. Its goal is $40,000 but long-term goals are lofty ‒ to expand to single fathers who have similar challenges and needs. The women leave the home with added credentials and confidence but also a relief from the stress of paying for housing in addition to educational expenses. Source: Idaho Press
- The grand opening of Dick Knox Pond in Emmett provides nearly 50 acres of fishing for large-mouth bass, crappie, perch, bluegill and rainbow trout. The Idaho Fish and Game’s Nampa Fish Hatchery contributed the trout while the former gravel pits were donated by resident Larry Sawyer. There are five floating docks, two restrooms, a boat launch and parking. Source: Emmett Messenger-Index
- The Gem County Recreation District surrendered its ownership of a parcel of ground in the city park dedicated toward a community swimming pool. The GCRD was tasked with reverting the parcel back to a pool but found the maintenance and liability costs prohibitive. Thirty years had passed since the city first deeded the site to the GCRD. The city intends to build a splash pad at the site, hopefully with help of a matching grant from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, at a cost of $300,000. Source: Emmett Messenger-Index
- Tamarack Ski Resort opened to the public after two weeks of passholder access only. The resort opened its fine dining venue, a beer garden and a food truck. COVID-19 protocol is in place with masks required and limited access to single day passes to reduce crowd density. Source: KTVB 7 News
- The McCall Chamber of Commerce canceled the 2021 winter carnival because of COVID-19 concerns, though many of the carnival’s events will be spread out over the winter rather than concentrated in 10 days. The event typically attracts about 60,000 visitors and causes a surge in tourism revenue. Despite the cancellation of the carnival and the on-going challenges posed by the pandemic, the chamber expects the winter tourist season will be busy. Tourism activity remained high during the summer season. Local option tax receipts showed that tourists and residents spent more money in McCall this summer than last. Source: McCall Star-News; BoiseDev
- The St. Luke’s Health System board approve an additional $20 million to complete the expansion of St. Luke’s McCall. Rapidly rising construction costs and the higher cost of construction in McCall relative to other communities in the St. Luke’s s system caused the 2018 estimate to rise from $42 million to $62 million. A new hospital building is under construction near the existing hospital on State Street. Source: McCall Star-News
- Terry Reilly Health Clinic held a grand opening at its newest location in Caldwell at the site of the former Pennywise Drug Store. This is the group’s sixth health clinic in the Treasure Valley and provides a full spectrum of health services offering scaled fees to lower-income citizens. Source: KTVB News
- Saltzer Health opened its first 24/7 urgent-care clinic in Meridian, occupying the first floor of a four-story medical building. The other three floors will eventually house an imaging center, five operating rooms, a procedure room, an endoscopy suite, physical therapy services and doctors’ clinics. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The Broken Tap Tavern opened, replacing the Footbridge Tavern in Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Mac ‘n Cue is joining the Crave Delivery collective of restaurants offering menu items featuring barbeque and mac ‘n cheese. Source: Idaho Statesman
- The Black Cow Cafe & Mercantile recently opened in Fruitland, Oregon, offering several menu items while the business’s retail section offers clothing, accessories, household décor and gift items. Source: Living in the News
- Extreme Pizza opened in Caldwell near the Indian Creek Plaza. Source: Idaho Statesman
- City Kid Boutique opened in downtown Boise offering clothing ranging from babies to teens. Source: Idaho News 6
- R&R Barbeque opened in Meridian at the Village. It is a Utah-based fast casual restaurant that originally opened in Salt Lake City in 2011. This is its first out-of-state restaurant, but it has plans for another location in downtown Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
- The Wild Lotus Coffee Bar and Boutique recently held a grand opening in Homedale. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
COVID-19 Event Cancellations or Modifications
- Management of the Steelheads hockey team has opted out of the season this year, releasing all players as free agents. Source: Idaho Statesman
- McGrath’s Fish House in Boise closed after 22 years, though its four restaurants are still operating in Oregon and Washington. In 2010, the chain had 20 restaurants in six states. Source: Idaho Statesman
- El Gallo Giro is closing its downtown location after opening in 2016, though it still offers its Mexican cuisine at two other locations in the Treasure Valley. The pandemic and the expiration of its lease were cited as reasons for the closure. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Good Burger closed its downtown Boise location, opting to stay open in Meridian. The owner of this flagship location stated he is unsure whether downtown Boise will recover economically in the short-term. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Kiwi Shake and Bake announced it will permanently close its downtown Boise restaurant after opening in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic was identified as the reason for the closure by its owners. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Caffe Luciano’s, a branch of the long-standing Luciano’s Italian Restaurant, announced it will close for the winter. It is located on the Greenbelt in Garden City. Source: Idaho Statesman
Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639
SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties
- Ketchum’s proposed Bluebird Village workforce housing development has been awarded a 9% low income housing tax credit from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. The preliminary concept consists of two three-story buildings, with one floor of parking, storage, management, amenity and commercial space in each building, according to the city. Unit sizes will range from one to three bedrooms, and the development will contain an outdoor community patio and indoor exercise space. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- The city of Hailey has launched a new municipal small business grant program that will distribute up to $200,000 to Hailey businesses using federal CARES Act relief funds. Qualifying businesses and organizations will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 each to cover COVID-19-related expenses incurred between June 20 and Dec. 30. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- The Sun Valley Resort reopened its ski season on Thanksgiving, marking the 85th year of skiing at the resort. Skiers can look forward to the new 380-acre expansion that accompanies the new lift, increasing Bald Mountain’s skiable terrain from 2,054 acres to 2,434 acres. There are also 250 additional acres on south-facing slopes that will be skiable during big snow years. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- Lincoln County has made available grant money for local small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, using federal CARES Act relief. The county has set aside approximately $80,000 worth of funding to go toward local businesses that apply for the grant while the city of Shoshone similarly requested $25,000 be set aside for Shoshone businesses. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
Twin Falls County
- Idaho Transportation Department completed a study of traffic flow patterns around Twin Falls to determine where the heaviest traffic in the area is generated and where it is headed. The study identified possible options to reroute traffic around Twin Falls ‒ including three possible new river crossings ‒ disregarding the option of widening or rebuilding the 44-year-old Perrine Bridge. Source: Times-News
- The Idaho Department of Correction’s Connection and Intervention Station in Twin Falls.
Bonang.Seoela@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties
- Idaho State University has named Debra Ronneburg as the interim replacement for College of Technology Dean Scott Rasmussen. Rasmussen has served as the college’s dean since 2011 and will retire on Jan. 15. Ronneburg will take over the role on Jan. 18 and looks to continue the program’s overall mission. Source: East Idaho News
- The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, in a lawsuit filed in federal court, seek to block the land exchange between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.. The tribes say the Blackrock Land Exchange approved last summer violates environmental laws and an 1868 treaty. The lawsuit said the exchange will expand phosphogypsum stacks next to the tribes’ reservation. The deal has Simplot receiving 719 acres (290 hectares) adjacent to its existing gypsum storage area and phosphate facility, called the Simplot Pocatello Don Plant in Pocatello. In exchange, the bureau received 667 acres (270 hectares) of Simplot’s private land in the Blackrock and Caddy Canyon area about 9 miles (14 kilometers) southeast of Pocatello. It is considered a prime recreation area and a key habitat for wildlife. Source: East Idaho News
- A Chicago-based real estate investment and development company, Lockwood Development Partners LLC ‒ after obtaining a contract-based conditional use permit from the Pocatello City Council last month ‒ is forging ahead with plans to turn the Clarion Inn on Bench Road into a 125-unit apartment complex for veterans over age 55. A tentative timeline for completion of the project is approximately eight to 14 months. The project includes building 83 one-bedroom apartments and 42 studio units using the existing hotel rooms, renovating the center area of the hotel where the pool is currently located into a 15,000-square-foot area for an adult daycare, and converting the banquet room areas into a 42,000-square-foot veterans education and job placement center. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Thanks to a donation from Delta Dental of Idaho, Idaho State University will be updating its teaching dental hygiene clinic. The $500,000 ISU is receiving is part of donations amounting to nearly $2 million from Delta Dental of Idaho. That money will go to the university’s dental hygiene clinic, adding 15 new chairs and retrofitting the 10 already existing chairs with updated delivery systems and lights. Source: East Idaho News
Bear Lake County
- Direct Communications, with assistance from several contractors, has been engaged by Bear Lake County to install fiber optics to the communities in Ovid, Liberty, Bern, Dingle and Wardboro. The county would be utilizing monies from federally-funded CARES grant administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce. Source: The News Examiner
- The Blackfoot Urban Renewal Agency is working on a package of three projects to boost its recovering downtown. The projects to renovate the Eccles Hotel on Broadway, the Frontier Club across the street and the former J.C. Penney Building will amount to a total of $13.5 million from both public and private funding. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has designated Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot as a Time Sensitive Emergency Level IV Trauma Center. The TSE Trauma IV classification comes after consistently demonstrating BMH’s ability to evaluate, diagnosis and stabilize trauma patients according to national trauma guidelines. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The new Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Blackfoot was opened to the public on Dec. 7, 2020. The cemetery remains in various phases of construction estimated to be complete in the spring of 2021. A formal dedication ceremony will be planned near that time. Source: Post Register
- Caribou County Commissioners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Caribou Memorial Hospital to begin the process of transferring the organization to a nonprofit 501(c)(3). The county hospital needs an update and has been losing money on its assisted living center. A nonprofit status would allow its board to build a new facility as well as manage, sell or close the living center without further burdening county property taxpayers. Source: Caribou County Sun
Openings – Pocatello
- Pick Me Up soda shop.
- Tokyo Belly Sushi restaurant.
- Star Route Brewery.
Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331
EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, & Teton counties
- The U.S. Department of Energy announced initial funding for a mix of reactor projects as part of its advanced reactor demonstration program. The recipients are Hermes Reduced Scale Test Reactor — Kairos Power in Alameda, California, which is getting $303 million from the DOE; the Westinghouse Electric Company’s eVinci Microreactor, which is getting $7.4 million; the BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor, which is getting $85.3 million; Holtec, which is getting $116 million to design and engineer its small modular reactor; and the Alabama-based Southern Company Services, which is getting $90.4 million for its molten chloride reactor experiment. Source: Post Register
- Battelle Energy Alliance, which manages and operates the laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, announced in November that John Wagner, Ph.D., would be the next director of the INL. Wagner takes over from Mark Peters, who became executive vice president for laboratory operations at Battelle. Source: East Idaho News
- Portland-based NuScale Power has finalized a deal with Sarens USA, a crane retail, heavy lifting and engineered transport company, to provide heavy crane supply for construction, engineering and transportation planning for building small modular reactors at an INL’s desert site west of Idaho Falls. Sarens also will be the main heavy hauler that will get the reactors to their site. The agreement says work with Sarens will start over the next six months. Source: Post Register
- Idaho National Laboratory, MicroNuclear LLC, The University of Idaho and other partners are advancing nuclear reactor technology with newly developed testing — and plans for a future product — using molten salt as heat and fuel. The U of I, Idaho Falls, has designed and tested a testing device that closely simulates how molten salt behaves, including in nuclear reactors. The next step is to test it on a larger scale. By advancing the testing, project members said, this will expedite and improve the development of nuclear reactors powered by molten salt. Source: Post Register
- Grand Teton National Park hosted an estimated 351,173 recreation visits in October, an 88% increase compared with October 2019. Park statistics show that October 2020 saw the highest number of recreation visits on record for the month of October. Source: East Idaho News
- After a major decline in passenger demand early in the year, Idaho Falls Regional Airport has seen the demand for Thanksgiving flights return to last year’s rates. In 2019 the airport had a record 352,000 people come through the building for a flight. The coronavirus led to a rapid drop in demand this spring: a 93% decrease in passengers during March and April this year compared with the same two months last year. That demand has steadily increased over the following months. Idaho Falls Regional Airport was at half of normal use over the summer and with some of the traditionally busy days around Thanksgiving up to normal demand, the airport is down about 30% in yearlong passenger volume from last year’s peak. Source: Post Register
- The Ballroom Event Center in Idaho Falls is closing to make room for the expansion of The Healing Sanctuary — Primary Care & Integrative Medicine, which is currently connected to the event center. Construction is slated to begin this spring. The ballroom will be built out into offices and patient exam rooms. Source: Post Register
- One year after purchasing the historic Funland in Tautphaus Park, the city of Idaho Falls has created the Funland Restoration Committee to take on revitalizing the amusement park. Currently, the plan is to have a soft opening of Funland in the summer of 2021. The grand opening is set for the summer of 2022, which will be Funland’s 75th anniversary. Source: Post Register
- The former Sky Vu Theatre will soon be transformed into recreational vehicle resort after its recent purchase by Idaho Falls resident Zach Teichert. It will cater to travelers with large rigs and short stays, rather than long-term rentals. He hopes to open it by late summer or fall of 2021. Source: Idaho State Journal
- With the passing of $30 million in certificates of participation, the Idaho Falls Police Department will get its first dedicated police station in the department’s 125-year history. City officials announced the old stockyards on Northgate Mile as the site for the new police facility and hired an architect team to create initial designs. For decades, the police department has been housed in the Bonneville County Law Enforcement Building along with a host of other municipal offices. Source: East Idaho News
- A new urban renewal district is underway to attract businesses and development to underused sections of Ammon. The 1st Street Urban Renewal District that was approved by the Ammon City Council last month covers several areas between Hitt Road and Ammon Road that have not been commercially developed. The biggest initial focus is on the fields at the corner of Hitt and 1st Street, where street expansions and other infrastructure work to attract new companies is estimated to cost $13 million. This will be the second urban renewal district that Ammon has created to spur business expansion. The Hitt Road district was created in 1994 around the incoming Albertsons supermarket. Source: Post Register
- Earlier this year, Idahoan Foods hired 100 new employees after the company saw a 250% increase in sales. Idahoan Foods is now looking to hire another 70 employees as demand for non-perishable food products has continued throughout the pandemic. The Idaho Falls-based company is the leading seller of instant mashed potatoes in the United States. Source: Post Register
- Revival Gold, a mining venture headquartered in Toronto, just signaled its serious intent to move towards gold production in Lemhi County with the publication of its Preliminary Economic Assessment on Nov. 17. The PEA outlined a projected 72,000 ounces of gold per year at all-in sustaining costs of $1,057 per ounce for the initial seven years of mine life at the brownfield site. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The latest entity planning to set up shop at the Old Walmart building in Rexburg will be C-A-L Ranch that is currently located in the Valley River Center. C-A-L Ranch will be joining the new Harbor Freight as well as Madison County’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Driver’s License Offices that set up shop last summer. Albertsons has been the only store there since Walmart moved into a new building and Payless ShoeSource closed. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg has expanded its specialty clinic by adding 12 patient exam rooms that were reconstructed out of space previously used for offices and storage. The intention of the specialty clinic is to provide health care in specific areas of medicine without residents having to travel long distances to see specialists. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Dec. 3 and streamed to the public on the Madison Memorial Facebook page. Source: Post Register
- Grand Peaks Medical has renovated and expanded both its Rexburg and St. Anthony campuses. It has also launched its new website which provides current and future patients with telehealth medical service, staff information as well as a patient portal. Additions include a new medical building and a full-service pharmacy. Source: Post Register
Openings – Idaho Falls
- Bacon & Bleu Family Restaurant.
- The Connection and Intervention Center.
- Lionheart Mixed Martial Arts gym.
- THAIDAHO, a Thai food truck.
- CupBop Korean Barbecue.
Openings – Ammon
- Lash & Body Lounge.
- Courageous Cubs daycare.
- The Ballroom Event Center in Idaho Falls.
Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331